The Prison Ship
The Mandalorian returns this week with another flavour of the week episode, one that does little to push forward the overarching plot but does do reasonably well to show off Mando’s personality and ingenuity in the face of danger. Beyond that though, there really isn’t a whole lot else to get excited about here, leaving big question marks around the acting, simplistic storytelling and general direction the show is likely to go from here.
We begin with Mando touching down inside a hangar bay and being greeted by one of his old friends, who offers him a job. It’s a five person assignment and as it happens, he has four people already; Mando is going to be the fifth. The catch? His ship is needed as part of the heist.
After meeting the group, Mando and the others pile on his ship and fly off into space. Things are tense between them all to say the least, until one of them is distracted by baby Yoda’s presence. However, this is quickly put to rest as the group make it to their destination.
While the droid hangs back and looks after the ship, the quartet hurry along the hallways of a prison vessel full of criminals until they make it to the control room. Unfortunately, despite their intel that no humans were on-board, one happens to be sitting in the room, clutching an inactive tracking beacon.
Mando manages to distract him long enough for the others to knock him out but unfortunately he manages to set off the tracker before that happens. From here things descend into a tense fight to get free from the ship as the countdown begins. The others turn on Mando, who finds himself going up against his fellow comrades while on his ship, baby Yoda plays a game of hide and seek with the droid… until Mando saves him at the last second and manages to get back aboard the ship, subsequently flying away.
With the job complete, Mando flies away with baby Yoda, but not before dumping the tracking beacon, allowing the x-wings to jump out of hyperspace and destroy the criminal base. As they fly away, he mutters to baby Yoda what a bad idea it was to land there.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been concerned about The Mandalorian’s lack of overarching story and this week only further solidifies my thoughts on this. While ordinarily I’d be fine with The Mandalorian operating with an episodic format, given the first three episodes were not like this at all, it does throw some big question marks around what direction the show is actually going.
There’s little resolution to a lot of the plot points raised so far, including Mando being hunted by the other bounty hunters and the strange cloaked figure last time out. While I’m sure The Mandalorian will deliver a decent enough finale, I can’t help but feel that this rigid structure of completing missions and wrapping everything up with a neat mouse-shaped bow at the end is hurting the integrity of this one and wearing thin fast.
I would say there’s plenty of time to turn this one around but with each episode clocking in at around 35 minutes or so, there’s around an hour of screen-time to deliver some definitive answers and I’m struggling to see how the show is going to do that.